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Schemas: How children learn through play

Schemas are patterns of repeated behaviours that children exhibit through their play.  They have been defined as “building blocks of knowledge” Jean Piaget.  They are perfectly natural and can be invaluable to a child’s development to understand the world around them.

These repeated behaviours can be shown by children in different ways.  You may have a child who loves transporting; moving things from one place to another either by carrying them or putting them into containers, pushchairs, wheelbarrows etc.  They will also get really involved when role playing being a post person, packing up a picnic to go somewhere, or being a delivery driver.

Another example of a schema is rotation; this focuses on movement of the child themselves or by using objects by spinning and turning repeatedly.  For example, wheels, knobs and balls.  You may also find that your child loves the feeling of spinning around and fast movemnets, where they can physically experience rotation.  Or they may show a keen interest in household items such as taps and the washing machine!

Other schemas can include trajectory where children exhibit a love of climbing, throwing, and hitting of objects.  These children tend to be very active and enjoy outside play.  Climbing frames, playdough and ball games can help to channel this behaviour.

There are a number of other schemas which have been identified which I will not go into detiail here but if you wish to explore this further then here is a link to a leaflet which explains them all:  http://www.choochoos.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/ChoochoosSchemeLeafletParents.pdf

The main thing to remember with schemas is  that schematic play can be a very powerful way of helping your children to make progress in their learning and development.  It is worth watching your child to see if they do show different ways that they like to explore the world around them.

Our Little Movers collection is an excellent way for chldren to explore their rotation, trajectory and enveloping schemas.

Photo by Lukas from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/action-activity-boy-children-296301/